Mold on Moss Poles: How to Remove and Keep it Mold-free
As much as we love moss poles, they have drawbacks that can develop into issues if not treated promptly. One common problem is mold on moss poles, which is unsightly and potentially dangerous to your plants and family.
In this article, we’ll be detailing our methods for removing mold from your moss poles. We’ll also explore why moss poles are vulnerable to mold and how to prevent it from growing in the future.
So grab a coffee and settle in because we’ll dive deep into the world of moldy moss poles.
How to Remove and Treat Mold on Moss Poles
First things first – let’s talk about getting rid of that mold.
It’s essential to eliminate mold from your moss poles because it will help prevent it from spreading to other areas and contaminating other climbing plants.
Plus, let’s be honest – it doesn’t look great and is not intended to be part of the design!
Removing Mold Manually
It may not be at the top of your list of things to do in your spare time. However, manually removing the mold by hand will be the most effective and immediate solution.
How straightforward this task will be will depend on the type of moss (or other organic matter) you use in your moss pole.
Sphagnum moss is easy to remove from moss poles because sphagnum moss is formed or small plants connected.
Whereas mold on coco coir moss poles will be harder to remove, the coconut fibers tend to be tightly interwoven and have long strands.
The risk with this approach is that you do not remove all the mold, and it re-establishes itself quickly after removal.
Garden Bench Top Tip
Mold spreads by releasing spores when disturbed. These spores can easily be inhaled and cause ill health in humans. Make sure to use appropriate protective equipment, like gloves and a face mask.
An alternate approach to removing mold on moss poles is with chemicals.
Fungicides are common forms of treatment that can be used to eradicate mold from plants.
You can find fungicides in most nurseries and gardening supply stores. Alternatively, effective fungicides can be sourced online at stores like Amazon.
We do recommend reading the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Always ensure the fungicide is plant friendly and won’t harm your indoor plant and its aerial roots.
DIY Home Remedy
If you prefer a little DIY, try a vinegar and water solution to kill the mold on your moss pole. Place equal proportions of white vinegar and warm distilled water into a spray bottle and mix thoroughly.
Apply the solution to the moss pole. Try to avoid spraying your plant (if possible).
Make sure to apply the vinegar solution to all areas affected by mold and wipe with a damp cloth.
Garden Bench Top Tip
These removal techniques will help stop the mold from getting out of control and infecting your entire moss pole. However, as the adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And later on in this guide, we’ll discuss measures you can take to prevent mold from growing in the future.
Mold on Moss Poles – Why Does it Happen?
Before exploring options for preventing mold on moss poles, we must understand why the mold has developed.
Moisture Levels – When Wet is Too Wet
You can guarantee moisture is not very far away whenever mold is present. And there is a good reason why. Mold thrives in excessively moist environments.
While one of the primary purposes of a moss pole is to retain and provide moisture to indoor plants, like monstera plants and philodendrons, they can also become oversaturated.
Unfortunately, excess moisture is the perfect breeding ground for mold and bacteria to thrive. Therefore, if you see mold growing on your moss pole AND the soil in your pot appears soggy, overwatering is your likely culprit.
Stagnant Air Flow
Another common cause for mold developing on a moss pole is the lack of airflow.
In fact, it is more common to notice mold growing in the winter months when windows are opened less frequently. The lack of air circulation also evaporates less moisture from the moss poles, leaving them moist for longer.
Poor Lighting Conditions
Mold thrives in dark environments with little to no direct sunlight.
This makes sense since sunlight will cause the moisture to evaporate, which is also a prerequisite of a mold-conducive environment.
Sometimes this is hard to avoid since plants that like to climb moss poles also naturally live under the canopy of tropical forests, out of direct sunlight.
If you experience this predicament, we recommend ensuring adequate airflow around your plants to prevent stagnant and poorly ventilated areas.
Prevention is the Key to Stop Mold on Moss Poles
Earlier, we mentioned prevention is one of the best ways to stop mold from taking over your moss poles. And for the most part, each preventative method is closely linked to the causes of mold growth.
We just learned that poor lighting and airflow are significant causes of mold growth. And one way to minimize these conditions from developing is regular cleaning and maintenance of your climbing plants and moss poles.
Consistent removal of old and dying leaves will help to keep your indoor plant uncluttered. It will promote air to circulate the moss pole and allow light to reach the surface of the pole.
As mold flourishes in moist environments, monitoring your watering technique is one of the keys to keeping it at bay.
Rather than sticking to a rigid schedule, we recommend tuning your green thumb or using your garden intuition by using the soil moisture finger test.
Alternatively, if you prefer gadgets, picking up a soil moisture meter will allow you to water only when the soil is dry and reduce the risk of overly wet or soggy soil.
Additionally, we use the bottom watering method when our indoor plants require more water. You can read about this helpful technique HERE.
Final Thoughts on How to Fix Moldy Moss Poles
Mold on moss poles is a common problem that we have all encountered from time to time.
But it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming problem.
By following our tips on removing and preventing mold growth, you can keep your moss poles looking healthy and beautiful.
Remember to regularly maintain your moss poles, monitor your watering technique, and ensure adequate airflow and lighting conditions.
Now let’s get our hands dirty!